The use of GAP-43 mRNA quantification in high throughput screening of putative neuroprotective agents in dorsal root ganglion cultures

Sanjay C. Keswani, Brian Rosenberg, Ahmet Hoke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Large scale screening for neuroprotective drugs for peripheral neuropathies requires development of a high throughput system that is reliable and reproducible. Currently most accurate outcome measures of axonal degeneration are based on time-consuming, laborious measurement of morphological changes in neurites. In order to improve on the scalability of the screening procedure we developed a real-time RT-PCR based method of gene expression that correlates very well with morphological measures of neuritic degeneration. We examined the changes in GAP-43 expression in primary dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons in vitro with exposure to a zalcitabine (ddC), an antiretroviral drug that causes neuropathy in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, with and without FK506, an immunophilin ligand with neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties. Similar to morphological measures of neuritic degeneration, in ddC-treated cultures there was a reduction in the expression of GAP-43 mRNA. This was prevented, in a dose-dependent manner, by co-administration of FK506. This assay, performed in a 96-well format, can easily be scaled for high throughput screening (HTS) using robotic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-195
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Volume136
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 30 2004

Keywords

  • GAP-43
  • High throughput assay
  • Immunophilin ligand
  • Neuroprotection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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